Organization raps proposed caps

Kankakee Daily Journal
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

With state legislators prepared to vote on capping compensation to medical
malpractice victims, an advocacy group is applying public pressure to stop
such a bill. Representatives from the Center for Justice & Democracy were in Kankakee Monday asking for the General Assembly to reconsider the proposed caps.
Among the legislators targeted to oppose the legislation are state Rep. Lisa
Dugan, D-Bradley, and Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete. Standing at Alpiner Park, next to an improvised 15-foot high wheelchair with the message, "Caps Hurt All Illinois Families," Mark Fraley of the Illinois office of the Center for Justice & Democracy, appealed to state senators and representatives to seek more scrutiny as to what insurance companies were charging for malpractice coverage.
"In states where caps have been implemented, there have been no cases of
malpractice insurance premiums going down," Fraley said. "There is instead a detrimental impact on the citizens."
Gene Stilt, a member of the national office of the Center for Justice &
Democracy, and a emergency medical technician and firefighter, said the caps "will hurt all families in Illinois."
A bill that could go to the General Assembly this week proposes capping
malpractice awards for punitive damages to $250,000 for a doctor and
$500,000 for a hospital.
Fraley said his organization opposes any caps. "Caps are not the answer. I don't think there should be any efforts to undermine the trial by jury," he said. Fraley believes that the state could see lower malpractice premiums simply by requiring insurance companies to disclose their costs, as was done in California.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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